“Love is a shelter in a raging storm. Love is a peace in the middle of a war. And if we try to leave Him, may God send angels to guard the door. No, love’s not a fight. But it’s something worth fighting for.”
God has immeasurably shown His love to me this week. I have so many amazing friends and family members He has used to lift me up. 🙂 And He has loved me by teaching me more things than I can count already, and by preventing me from missing ministry opportunities that I may otherwise have given up. ~From February 13, 2012
This was the week, in 2012, when my world came crashing down. I posted the above after hearing God speak to me through Scripture, prayer, and counsel just a few days after my life got flipped on its head in the most unbelievable, broken way I could have imagined. Around this time, I would meet another friend who became an important part of my life during the next year and a half. In a few months, I would start my first full-time teaching position, which proved to be–even with all I was facing–one of the most formative and rewarding experiences of my life.
There have been so many moments like this over the last 5 years, when, in the midst of incredible pain, God has drawn me near to Him. There have been countless more moments when I’ve struggled with a deep distrust of God. He has been gracious, faithful, unwavering in the softest and hardest ways, and persistent in His plan for me.
It’s hard to believe that I made it this far, through so much upheaval. Back then, 5 years sounded like forever. Now, it seems amazing that it only took 5 years to heal as much as I have. I’m really, finally satisfied with where my life is now, and I’m deeply grateful for the journey in processing through everything the last five years held.
Here were some more of the things I wrote that day:
Number 1: God can do everything. No purpose of His can be withheld from Him. (Job 42:2). Job said it, and God confirmed that Job had spoken rightly of Him a little later. This means that what God intends to do, it WILL happen. This is something I learned during my second year at college, but I had forgotten after a while. I’ve been asking for a while now how we find God’s will. Here’s what I’ve seen in Scripture: In the Old and New Testament, God communicated His will to people in many different ways: visions, dreams, angels…a thunderous display of power or a still, small whisper. Sometimes His commands are very specific (ex. “And they shall make an ark of acacia wood; two and a half cubits shall be its length, a cubit and a half its width, and a cubit and a half its height.” Exodus 25:10) . Other times, they are more general (“Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat…” Genesis 2:16-17). And even the specific commands, God often gave leeway for decisions. He told the Israelites when to pick up Manna–in the morning–but not how many paces to take outside their tents, etc. Other times, God didn’t just use commands to orchestrate His will–it says He softened or hardened hearts–altered people’s very minds! Other times, He didn’t give specific commands. He gave principles to follow, but He let people choose. So taking all of this into consideration, how do we discern God’s will? He may speak to you in a number of different ways, or He may give you a choice. Strive to be obedient to all His principles in making that choice. We are accountable to obedience to direct commands for His specific will and to following Biblical commands, precepts, and principles, not to having certainty of the future. But know that whether we obey or not, “no purpose of [His] can be withheld from [Him].” It WILL happen His way. We can REST in God’s sovereignty and have no fear of the future because He is both sovereign and good! He has our best interests in mind, and He will make sure they happen for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose which cannot be withheld from Him! 🙂 😀
Number 2: While Marriage reflects the relationship between Christ and the Church, Singleness portrays a believer’s identity in Christ. I am learning that singleness gives an opportunity like no other for total dependence on God. God gives us as believers–when we’re in tune with the Holy Spirit–a powerful aching over the brokenness in this world out of a love for Christ, the Gospel, Truth, Righteousness, and human beings. For me, that manifests itself as a desire to pour my whole heart into a single person and to be poured into by God through the channel of that other person, and together be poured into by God and to pour out on the world. But singleness allows us the opportunity to and turn our pour-out desire toward others entirely and to take that love and pour it out onto all the people we see…and to be poured into by God Himself alone (also through the body of believers) and turn that be-poured-into desire toward Him! Even in marriage, I think there is only peace and harmony when both are in this state of focus on God and ministry outreach as a unit in addition to selfless pouring into one another. Marriage has one kind of blessing; singleness has another. It’s clear that at this time in my life, I need a focus on ministry alone–pouring everything I have into others. As for the future…the question is irrelevant! God has me here, now! We should strive after him where we are and enjoy the blessings He has given us!)
Trust Him with your future and with your heart in the present!